#Opinion

Unemployment Or “Natural Urge”, Stop Misplacing The Blame For Rape

Markandey Katju hathras case

A respectable former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju shared the most outrageous post in the aftermath of the horrific Hathras gangrape case on his social media handle. He wrote, “I condemn the Hathras gang rape, and call for harsh punishment of the culprits. However, having said that there is one aspect which also needs to be considered. Sex is a natural urge in men. It is sometimes said that after food, the next requirement is sex. In a conservative society like India, one can ordinarily have sex only through marriage. But, when there is massive and rising unemployment, a large number of young men cannot marry (as no girl will ordinarily marry an unemployed man). Consequently, a large number of young men remain deprived of sex, even though they have reached as age when it is a normal requirement.”

Well, that’s just the first part of the post, there’s more where he goes on to say in not so many words that solving unemployment crisis will halt the rape numbers in our country, but you must have got the drift.

This post is wrong on so many levels. How is rape and sex one and the same thing? Why is sex a natural urge for men only, what about women? Why marriage is considered a license for having sex? How is unemployment and rape related? What is the correct age for getting involved in sexual activity? If unemployment factor is taken care of then there won’t be rapes, is there a guarantee for this?

Rape and sex is not the same thing

Let’s get this straight; rape and sex is not the same thing. Sex is about mutual desire, trust, and a healthy expression of love and care. Rape is about the will of one individual over another; it is ultimately about an expression of power, using formerly intimate actions to degrade and shame. This was the case in the Hathras incident.

Also Read: Why Markandey Katju’s Post On Hathras Gangrape Demands Outrage

We have to remember that in our hinterlands caste plays a very dominant role. The fact that the girl was a Dalit and the four perpetrators were men from the upper caste tells us that this
act was to cower down the Dalit family and the community as a whole. These were not some sexually frustrated men acting.

Sex is a natural urge for both men and women

What kind of a warped logic is this “Sex is a natural urge in men”. So, raping women to satiate this urge is okay that means. And poor men, they are unemployed, hence frustrated, and hence not able to get married, so they are forcibly and violently trying to get what they want. Is he trying to say it’s okay to rape women? I can never get over the statement of a politician where he had said “Boys will be boys, they commit mistakes.” At the cost of a woman’s life boys can commit mistakes. It is tropes like this that give leverage to men to carry out gruesome acts.

And let me tell our learned former Judge, women too have sexual desires as it is normal human occurrence. They don’t go about raping men though. In fact our society tries to control this natural impulse of women, and if she vents her yearning then she is tagged characterless isn’t it?

And also there is no fixed age when adolescent boys and girls indulge in sexual activities. According to a study, 30.08 percent of boys and 17.18 percent of girls reported having had sexual contact. About 37 (6.31 percent) boys and 03 (1.31 percent) girls had reported having had experienced sexual intercourse. Average age at first sexual contact for boys and girls was 13.72 and 14.09 years, respectively, while average age at first intercourse was 15.25 years for boys and 16.66 years for girls. Friends accounted for the main sexual intercourse partner for both boys (70 percent) and girls (100 percent). Rest were either an unknown person or a relative.

Also Read: Delhi, Hathras And Now Balrampur: India Continues To Be In Denial Of It’s Rape Culture

Is marriage a licence to indulge in sexual activities?

Marriage is not meant solely for sex. Sex is just one of the ingredients of living a lovely married life. The above data says that a marriage is not needed to indulge in sexual activities
though. But it does give licence to men to demand sex which leads to marital rape. Yes, we may not agree but when a husband forces himself on his wife, sometimes violently, it does constitute to rape like any other. As far as marital rape is concerned, it will soon have a law of its own. It is just a matter of time I hope.

Connection between unemployment and rape

Not all unemployed persons are perverts, if a person is unemployed I think his/her main focus is to look for a job, upgrade one’s skill or think of changing the industry one was working in.

In India, at present, the youth constitute 28 percent of the total population of the country. And according to CMIE 33 million men and women in their 30s lost their jobs in April out of
which 86 percent of the job losses were among men. So, are all these men sexual perverts? I don’t think so.

Also Read: Hathras Gang Rape Was Not The First. There Is A List Of Heinous Crimes Against Dalit Women

Finally, I would like to say to men of Katju’s stature that they should think twice before posting something so appalling as they have thousands of followers and mostly among them will be the youth. Please do not give power to the trope that ‘men will be men’. Rape is not okay under any circumstances. A rape is a rape is a rape, period!

Image Credit: PTI

The views expressed are the authors own.